October 15, 2013
6:30 pm
New School Theresa Lang Center
55 West 13th Street
New York, New York

Public Books co-presents


with mathematician and writer Michèle Audin, writer Ian Buruma, writer Cynthia Carr, and historian Ivan Jablonka
moderated by Bookforum Editor Albert Mobilio


Family history is inevitably public history, and can be key to understanding larger events. In Year Zero (2013), Ian Buruma personalizes the political upheaval of 1945 through individual accounts, including that of his father. In History of the Grandparents I Never Knew (2012), Ivan Jablonka reconstructs the lives of his Polish grandparents, who were Jewish Communists during the Nazi occupation. In her work, Michèle Audin recounts the life of her father, an anti-colonialist activist who was brutally killed during the Algerian war, and in Our Town (2007), Cynthia Carr unearths dark family secrets of her father’s hometown—Marion, Indiana. In the hands of these authors, letters, diaries, and remembrances highlight unknown individual lives and radiate outward to reveal epic social forces at work.

This event is part of the three events which Public Books is co-sponsoring—on October 15, 17, and 18—in the 2013 Walls and Bridges festival. Presented by the Lyon-based cultural institute Villa Gillet, Walls and Bridges is a 10-day series of performances and critical explorations that brings together French and American thinkers and artists from the social sciences, philosophy, literature, and the arts.